Unbeaten Croatian Marko Calic is eager to make the most of his high profile opportunity against rising light-heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi on October 4.

The rangy, 6ft 3ins Calic (11-0, 6 KOs) was a high quality amateur beating compatriot Alen Babic twice as a heavyweight and also representing his nation in the WSB at the higher poundage.

The 33-year-old has been aware of Buatsi since their amateur days, but now plans to derail the Croydon man’s march to a pro world title. 

“I have known Joshua Buatsi since my days in the amateurs,” said Calic. “I have followed his professional career since he switched from the amateurs after the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. He is a strong fighter and has a good boxing IQ. He is a good technician, but I also believe in my boxing ability and I will be ready on October 4. 

“As an amateur, I was fighting at 91kg in the heavyweight category, so our paths never crossed in the ring. When I was in the European Championships in Samokov in 2015, I think he won a bronze medal, so yes I know him pretty well. I’ve watched him progress in the professional ranks and he is a good fighter, so I will be well prepared.

“Beating Buatsi would be huge for my career. It would make me well known in the boxing community and open a lot of doors for me. Eddie Hearn is the best boxing promoter in the world right now and his events get a lot of attention. I will prove myself on the big stage. This win will mean a lot for me. 

“I expect that Buatsi will come forward and take the fight to me. I will try to counterpunch him, but I will also be ready to fight fire with fire. My main focus is to do my best. One of my main strengths is that I am taller than most of my opponents. I am also a very good technical boxer with a high boxing IQ.”